Tag Archives: fibers

Fibers are non-digestible carbohydrates. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, and lentils are sources of intrinsic fibers.

Cooking with whole intact ingredients, NOVA Group 1 minimally processed foods, is one way to put more fibers on the plate. Another way is use products made with whole intact ingredients with this caveat – labels and pictures on the package can be misleading.

▫️Pumpkin Pie – the taste of freshly baked.

Surprise! Surprise! Pumpkin pie isn’t “healthy”. I’ve analyzed all 100 recipes in my collection so I can say with a degree of certainty that many of my favorite recipes including all desserts don’t pass the Kiss test. I’ll have more to say on that later, but first let’s discuss freshly baked …

The taste of freshly baked. It’s one essence even the most gifted food technologist can’t make in a laboratory. The reason I make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas is because I love sharing that taste with my family and friends. So every year when it’s time for holiday celebrations, I roll up my sleeves and get to work. 

My love for freshly baked started a long time ago. And my recipe has evolved over time because I’ve experimented with different ingredients and different techniques.

The first time I made a pumpkin pie, I used a real whole pumpkin, took out both seeds and fibrous strands, cut pumpkin into pieces and steamed the pieces until they were soft. Removed the flesh from the shell and used a food mill to make pumpkin purée. It did take awhile for the pumpkin to soften. And I remember to this day how nauseous the smell of boiled pumpkin made me feel. My first lesson in pumpkin pie baking was this – always use canned pumpkin.

My early pies also used a pâte brisée, the classic French pastry with cold butter and flour. Then I moved on to convenience, an off the shelf Graham cracker crust, trading time for taste. I tried every off the shelf product I could find. But I missed the taste of freshly baked. Convenience has great value, but now that I have more time, I’m back in my kitchen with an olive oil based crust. It’s hand pressed into the pie dish and made with flour, olive oil, and plain yogurt.

Regardless of which combination the ingredients I use, most ingredients are NOVA friendly. Listed in descending order by weight, ingredients for the version pictured above are : canned pumpkin, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, milk, egg, extra virgin California olive oil, whole milk plain yogurt, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt.

But it’s the taste of freshly baked that makes my pie so special. The aroma that fills my kitchen while the pie is baking and the clean taste of authenticity once the pie is set and cooled.


I’m okay with recipes that aren’t “healthy” because I also value palatability and a “healthy” pattern requires a degree of austerity I’m unwilling to commit to. About an 25% of my recipes qualify as “healthy”. That’s a better percentage than if I relied on pre-prepared off-the-shelf products. As calculated by the food industry, that percentage is only about 4%.

Please understand however when I advocate for palatability I don’t mean extremely high levels of fat, salt, sugar #HFSS either. My feet are firmly grounded on a middle patch of ground that used to be called moderation.

I say “used to be called moderation” because the word has virtually disappeared from current food narratives. Big Public Health advocates for austerity because this pattern saves lives while Big Food continues to profit selling better, more extravagant, cheaper indulgences. As for me, I follow the same advice I used to give clients during counseling sessions – it’s what you do most days that counts.

▫️Roasted Brussels Sprouts – a philosophy of dietary correctness.

“You’ve ruined the Brussels Sprouts!” shrieked the inspector hysterically as she ran down the hall. What exactly did my favorite lunch lady do to the sprouts that so enraged the health inspector?  I’ll let you know later, but for now …

Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite fall vegetables. Sprouts prefer the cooler days of early fall and don’t mind an early morning frost. I never use the word superfood, but without a doubt it’s accurate to say that sprouts are nutritionally blessed. Some find the sulfur compounds bitter and off putting. For others, those compounds add character to an already complex taste profile. Fall is the season to indulge in Brussels sprouts wherever you can find them – cooked at home or prepared by your favorite restaurant.

My favorite preparation is roasting. The process requires nothing more complicated than a roasting pan, wooden spoon, freshly harvested sprouts, olive oil, and salt. Although “healthy” is often the Kiss of Death, each 1/2 cup of roasted sprouts actually clocks in under required thresholds for saturated fat and sodium. But here’s my problem. I like to eat at least two 1/2 cup servings. Sometimes even more. So there’s a labeling kerfuffle. The size of a serving – which is defined by weight – matters. The 1/2  cup serving meets the criteria. But what happens when when the serving is 1 cup? Are the sprouts still “healthy”?

Common sense tells us it clearly depends on the food group in question. Encouraging more vegetables should be okay. Encouraging more chocolate brownies is not so okay. That’s the kind of common sense approach I used during counseling sessions.

It’s useful at this point to also check ratios. When all the ratios are all favorable, I used to tell clients to enjoy as many vegetables as they like. The ratios for my roasted Brussels sprouts are all favorable. More unsaturated fatty acids than saturated fatty acids. More potassium than sodium. Grams of dietary fiber greater than 10% total carbohydrate.

Regulatory compliance however is not the same as common sense.

The FDA regulations don’t address this issue and technically a 1 cup servings size has an higher percentage Daily Value for both sodium and saturated fat than is allowed. So to be the safe side of the regulatory divide, I would recommend a client avoid using the word “healthy”. With my own recipes however I use different logic. Although it’s unclear whether or not 1 cup can be labeled “healthy”, it’s factual and not misleading to say that roasted sprouts are nutritious.

So for my own recipes, I’m okay with putting “healthy” aside and going with nutritious.

And now for my lunch lady story. The lady in question is a brassy Texan who speaks her mind and believes that the best way to get anyone to eat more brussels sprouts is to add bacon. From a getting the kids to eat more vegetables perspective, her strategy worked. From the inspectors perspective however, it was a fatal error.

That’s what our philosophy of dietary correctness has come down to. Following the food rules is more important than how much Brussels sprouts the kids actually eat. It’s a perfect example of what I mean when I talk about a philosophy of dietary correctness. It’s accurate to say that a 1/2 cup serving of sprouts with bacon probably doesn’t meet thresholds for “healthy” but then neither does my generous 1 cup serving of roasted Brussels sprouts.

One thing is certain however, the Brussels sprouts whether bacon enhanced or roasted are palatable and folks are more likely to indulge when the vegetables tastes good.

▫️Grilled Chicken with Red Peppers and Kidney Beans – clean and convenient.

American women love convenience. Convenience has after all liberated women from their “traditional” place in the kitchen. To be critical of convenience is not always well received, but before we get to that …

Pictured above is my latest experiment with convenience. Saving time in the kitchen is important to me, so I’m always on the look out for new products that meet my expectations. My latest find was a frozen pre-cooked grilled chicken product and you can see what I decided to do with it pictured above. Ingredients listed in descending order by weight are seasonal local red peppers, frozen grilled chicken breast, canned kidney beans, stock, pasta, onion, jarred tomato basil sauce, jarred unsalted tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil.

The grilled chicken product is a clean labeled, skinless boneless chicken breast product targeted at the health conscious consumer who values convenience. Depending of how you look at it, the product could be considered ultra-processed (more than 5 ingredients, additive) or processed (chicken breast pieces are bite sized and remain recognizable). I’m going with processed in this case but acknowledge there’s an argument to be made for Ultra-processed.

You’ll note in my ingredient list that there is no salt. Since I was experimenting, I decided not to add salt during preparation. The grilled chicken product had more salt than I would use to season raw chicken and I didn’t want the dish to taste too salty. As a result of my decision not to add salt, the dish passed the Kiss test.

But the important question however is always – how did it taste?

Despite being salted and spiced, the grilled chicken itself had no taste. Texture and mouthfeel yes, but absolutely no taste. The ingredients that made eating the dish enjoyable were the red peppers and onion. And just between you and me, those gorgeous red peppers could have used just a little pinch of salt to brighten their already intense flavors.


I’ve incurred the wrath of more than one feminist when I’ve championed home cooking and freshly prepared meals. My celebration of deliciousness is heard as a mandate to send liberated ladies back to the kitchen “where they belong”. Now I like convenience as much as any other liberated lady, but I also expect palatability.

The reason I won’t be getting the frozen grilled chicken product again has nothing to do with degree of processing or convenience or salt. My reason has everything to do with how the chicken tasted on that plate.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the frozen grilled chicken is a bad product and it’s clear the manufacturer did their best to put a clean labeled convenience product on the market. It’s just not the right product for me. 

▫️Summer Fruit Plate – the taste of seasonal deliciousness.

Imagine you’re sitting in a popular Manhattan restaurant. The meal you’ve just finished was worth every calorie and every dollar. Now it’s time for dessert – the best part of the meal. Every wondered why restaurants rarely offer fruit plates? I think I know the answer, but more on that later.

That spectacular fruit plate pictured above passes the Kiss test with flying colors. Edible proof that compliance and correctness don’t have to always mean the Kiss of Death.

For a restaurant to be willing to make a fruit plate, two things are required. Personalized attention and a knowledgeable chef de cuisine. At this particular restaurant, we were privileged to have both in the same person. Seasonal perfectly ripened fruit is a challenge under the best of condition and most restaurants, even good restaurants, aren’t staffed to handle the challenges.

The ingredient list for the plate in descending order by weight could not be more straightforward: nectarine, peach, blackberries, raspberries. And if you check the food composition stats for fruit, most of the weight is water weight. Not just any old tap water weight but naturally rich vitamin / mineral infused water including potassium plus assorted bioactives / phytonutrients depending on the color of the fruit.

A fruit plate for me is the perfect choice after any meal, but especially after a heavy meal. My gut appreciates that refreshing wonderful slightly acidic water. Cool, wet, refreshing, and sweetened just enough with natural intrinsic sugars.


So why don’t more restaurants offer fruit plates?

From the restaurant perspective, it’s actually cheaper and easier to offer a traditional dessert. Fresh fruit is perishable. Stone fruits and berries have a finite shelf life and bruise easily. Apples need to be under constant refrigeration and humidity once they are picked. Melons will keep okay for a while until you cut them open … To sum it up, most fruits are just not good keepers.

Again from the restaurant perspective, it’s easily to stay in business providing foods the customer wants to eat and for many, dessert is the “best part of the meal”. The restaurant we ate at had many options. Here’s the three I can remember:

• Homemade ice cream – a couple of scoops made with heavy cream from grass-fed cows.

• Panna cotta – an Italian creation made from cream, sugar, buttermilk and molded with gelatin for spectacular presentation.

• Valhrona chocolate cake – one of the world’s finest chocolates mixed with almond meal, wheat flour, sugars, butter, and eggs.

Calorie rich combinations of fat and sugar are significantly more popular that a simple fruit plate. Even the restaurant owner admitted he’d rather have ice cream than fruit.

So why don’t restaurant offer seasonal fruit plates? Because the numbers just don’t add up. The product is temperamental with limited shelf stability, requires staff time and expertise, and the customer has no interest.

A fresh seasonal fruit plate is my choice after a heavy meal but for most restaurant customers it’s just one more example of “healthy” as the Kiss of Death.

▫️Spring Salad – a picture is worth 1000 labels.

Take a look at the picture above and ask yourself this question.

Which is better evidence of healthfulness – the picture of the salad or the Nutrition Facts Label? But before we get to that …

During the summer I make lots of salads. And all my salads tend to follow the same basic pattern – a variety of crunchy raw greens, some protein, and some canned or home cooked beans.  This is actually the salad I prepared when a fellow dietitian came to lunch a couple weeks ago. Delicious and refreshing and just right for a casual get together on one of those lovely almost warn spring Hudson Valley days.

This salad was made with mostly minimally processed fresh vegetables – escarole, radicchio, arugula, avocado, tomato – and a couple of freshly boiled eggs. I used traditionally processed canned chickpeas and canned tuna whereas the olive oil, vinegar, and salt are culinary processed. Only the small amount of Dijon mustard I used to emulsify the salad dressing and a couple of marinated baby artichokes qualify as ultra-processed. A super NOVA friendly salad!

I served the salad as the main dish and I figure we each ate about 2 to 3 Cups, the amount reflected in the label.

All my salads failed the original thresholds established by the FDA for fat, saturated fat, and sodium back in 1994. This time around, however, the saturated fat assessment depends on the protein food source.

Salads like the one pictured above made with seafood and eggs catch a break when it comes to counting saturated fat grams so my salad benefits from the addition of both canned tuna and hard boiled eggs.

The sodium thresholds have also been relaxed. So I’m happy to report that my salad is co,pliant and will pass the nutrient component as long as the correct reference amount is used for labeling purposes.


The last time I ran numbers on my own recipes was about 15 years ago. I never finished the project because I got so angry. None of my recipes met the low fat / saturated fat, or low sodium thresholds required for compliance. So I resigned myself early on to being a dietitian who loved vegetables and whole grains and fresh fruits but choose not to eat “healthy”.

This time around I’m finding more recipes pass the Kiss of Death Test.

But the Nutrition Facts Label has left its mark. Many ordinary Americans think more about nutrients than they do about food. It’s taken me almost 30 years to wrap my head the significance of what my study of nutrition really means but I think I may have finally figured a few things out.

Over the last 4 decades, food has evolved from something familiar and tangible that we make at home in our kitchens into a product that is manufactured, packaged, labeled, and sold. As the label has become increasingly important in determining “healthfulness”, so has our collective  reliance on experts for interpretation.

I am concerned that many of my fellow Americans put more trust in a label than they do in their own ability to make a decision for themselves.

▫️Split Pea Soup – enjoyment is essential.

Expecting food to taste good is a legitimate expectation and guidelines for eating healthy need to acknowledge the legitimacy of this expectation. But before we get to that …

Its the middle of May here in New Yorks Hudson Valley but theres still enough chill in the air to justify a bowl hot steaming soup. Probably the last batch of the season however so when this pot is gone, no more soup until October or November.

Making my own means I decide which ingredients to use – extra virgin olive oil, lots of aromatics, and the right amount of salt for palatability. I wish one of the commercial manufacturers would come up with a way to make soup the way I like it. Current soup brands use too much salt and brands that market low salt versions are bland.

Nothing comes for free and soup making is time consuming – lots of chopping and prep work – not to mention the hour or two it takes to slowly soften those dry little green half sized peas plus putting the soup through my food mill, portioning it out, and freezing the units.

That’s why I wish I had a better option. But I don’t …

All my soups are NOVA friendly because they are all freshly prepared with minimally processed and culinary processed ingredients. Listed in descending order by weight, the ingredients are water, green split peas, onion, carrot, fennel, olive oil, parsley, salt.

Despite all the quality ingredients, the soups fails the test.

Why you maybe asking? Too much salt.

Im a bit of a contrarian dietitian here because first I make the soup that tastes good to me, then I go back and run the numbers to determine the stats. The label posted above is based on a generous cup, a little more that the reference amount of 245 grams. Usually home cooking is an excellent strategy for reducing dietary sodium. There are exceptions however and the most notable exception is soup.

My soups are not nearly as high as commercial brands which have almost twice as much sodium. And that is why, for me at least, commercial brands taste much too salty.


Palatable is a loaded word.

My fellow dietitians prefer to use words like nutrient-dense and healthy dietary patterns.

On the other side of the binary divide, cooks, chefs, food manufacturers, and eaters talk a lot about good tasting food. These folks may not actually use the word palatable but there is all round expectation that food should taste good.

Healthy is important, but enjoyment is essential. So even when I use all the tricks in the usual dietitian’s healthy eating playbook and it’s not enough, I say to myself, palatable beats healthy and it’s okay to break the rules.

▫️Home baked cookies – good intentions versus good outcomes.

Cookies are scrumptious little bundles of calorie dense fat and sugar. And yes added sugars are healthy. Labeling everything unhealthy means not on will pay attention. But more on that later.

Some folks love Oreos, still the best selling off the shelf branded cookie. As for me, I like to bake my own. The aroma that fills the air whets my appetite and I always put a couple of freshly baked cookies aside to savor as soon as they’re cool enough to eat. Whether store bought or freshly baked, most of us enjoy a good cookie from time to time.

Oreos can’t pass the Kiss of Death Test. Stats for Nabisco Oreo Sandwich Cookies can be found by checking Smart Label.

The cookie recipes posted on the USDA website MyPlate Kitchen can’t pass the test.

And my little home baked beauties pictured don’t stand a chance. I do use better quality ingredients so the list is NOVA friendly. The list includes mostly minimally processed ingredients (rolled oats, walnuts, raisins, whole wheat flour, egg), some processed culinary ingredients (butter, Demerara sugar, salt), and only one ultra-processed (vanilla). But do NOVA friendly ingredients make my cookies a better nutrient dense choice?

The challenge that all cookies face is nutrients – that irresistibly delicious combination of fats and sugars. Cookies as a generic group can’t pass the Kiss of Death test, but in my humble opinion that’s not to say cookies are categorically unhealthy.


Here’s my concern. With the best of intentions, the FDA proposal and to some extent our Dietary Guidelines have neglected something fundamentally important that relates to how humans eat.

What is it exactly that has been neglected? Enjoyment. Pleasure. Joy of Eating. Folks expect food to taste good.

The word enjoyment doesn’t appear a single time in the 40,000 word proposal on using the word healthy on food product labels recently published by the FDA. And the word appears only 4 times in the 164 pages of our current Dietary Guidelines.

Now as one of my colleagues has noted, some folks will eat tree bark if it’s labeled healthy. But I wouldn’t and neither would most folks who sit at my table. Most people have higher expectations for what gets put on our plates.

I would be okay with the FDA using labels to inform us when nutrient thresholds are high or low. But I’m not okay with an a labeling strategy that equates the word healthy with a nutrient content claim. The folks at the FDA may have good intentions so I’m not questioning their motivation. I am just questioning the use of the word healthy.

Like I used to tell clients – you can eat anything you enjoy as long as you’re willing to manage portion size and frequency.

 The word healthy makes more sense as a dietary pattern than as a nutrient content claim. And patterns require looking at the whole meal or the whole day.

Simply put, the proposed FDA update will likely fail to improve anyone’s health while potentially having some unintended consequences. The intention was to encourage people to make healthier choices. But in reality, it runs the risk of alienating them. That serves no one’s interest.


Clafouti – Apple Flan

photo credit | gourmetmetrics

Sour cherries, like our American cranberries, are a little too sour to savor straight up. So in the spirit of thrift and ingenuity, some practical French cook figured out a solution. If you add those sour cherries to a sweet eggy batter, sour balances perfectly with creamy and sweet. And voilá, claflouti was born. The combination evolved in the French city of Limousine a hundred plus years ago and has today attained global status.

Clafouti, or apple flan, is the second recipe I’m putting to my kiss of death test.


The ingredient list is short and simple: apples, milk, eggs, sugar, whole wheat flour, raisins, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg. The apple flan pictured above is made using whole wheat flour but honestly I don’t taste much difference between whole wheat or all purpose flour. There’s a bit more finely ground fiber in whole wheat of course so the nutrition stats do look better. All ingredients except the vanilla extract are minimally processed or culinary processed ingredients. The flan reflected in the photo is freshly baked just out of the oven. As it cools, however, the flan will sink down in the baking dish.

I make my version with apples because apples are one of my favorite winter fruits and I’ve discovered that this flan is an excellent way to repurpose any apples which have aged past their prime and lost their crispness.

The sugar is essential – just enough sweetness to make a delicious little ending to a celebration meal. 


Butter and sugar guarantee that the apple flan will fail my kiss of death test. Sugar was actually okay back in the 1990s but butter even in small amounts would have delivered a knock out blow. Today added sugar is a member of our nutrient axis of evil – sodium, saturated fat, added sugars. So my apple flan gets two knock out blows.

An FDA serving size or RACC is weight based. In order to asses for compliance, analysts like me are expected run the numbers using the appropriate serving size. Sometimes that amount corresponds with what folks at my table eat. Sometimes not. For the apple flan 2/3 of a cup looks to be about right for me. But most folks who sit at my table will eat more.



Is added sugar healthy or unhealthy?

Having given this question a lot of thought since the FDA published their proposed update, I’ve decided I’m okay with the FDA setting a draconian limit on added sugars and with the predictable set of winners and losers.

So let’s assume added sugar is not healthy and see where that assumption takes us. Fresh fruit will always be a healthy choice, but most folks who crave desserts don’t reach for fruit. They want a real dessert. The proposed rules are very restrictive and would knock out exactly those real desserts folks want.

Following traffic rules is easy when it comes to red lights or seat belts. Following food rules when it comes to added sugars is much harder. Common sense should tell us that sweetness at end of the meal is always enjoyable but not always health promoting. Common sense should also tell us there’s a time and a place for an enjoyable “unhealthy” indulgence.

Deciding when and how much, however, is a lot more complicated than putting on your seat belt or stopping for a red light.

Tagine Chicken Thighs slowly braised with potato, carrot, green beans.

photo credit | gourmetmetrics

Here’s how my tagine chicken thighs look after a couple of hours of braising in a slow oven. That gorgeous red baking dish is the bottom of my tagine. The top of the tagine, which is shaped like a funnel, fits tightly over the baking dish so there’s virtually no evaporation. 

And yes, you really are seeing skin on those thighs. The skin protects the meat while the thighs self baste and the vegetables soften. The result is incredibly tender succulent chicken. Granted, the taste is better if the chicken is a pastured, slow grow bird, but the technique works wonders on industrial birds. The tagine method makes everything just a little more delicious.

Now does the dish look healthy to your eye? If your answer is yes, you would be wrong as per the recently published FDA proposal on labeling food products healthy. And if you’re like me, you are scratching your head and muttering to yourself, what’s missing?


The bright side to the new rules is food counts. The FDA proposal for healthy is aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans so now both the guidelines and the proposed update suggest healthy starts with food.

Using the Facts Label format, here’s how the list of ingredients reads by weight in descending order: potato, chicken thighs with skin & bone, green beans, carrots, tomato sauce (industrially processed and clean labeled), dry vermouth, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt.

My tagine chicken is freshly prepared from what I like to call “real food” so it meets even exceeds the goal.


More vegetables than chicken on the plate ensures nutrient density with a varied distribution of both plant and animal based nutrients. Check the Facts Label and you’ll see the serving is an excellent source of both Fiber and Potassium. In addition, thanks to the chicken thigh, the serving provides 24 grams Protein

Most folks would say the combination of real food and nutrient density is the basis of a healthy pattern. And I would agree. However if I were running the numbers for a website or cookbook selling one of the products listed in the ingredient list, I would be forced to recommend reformulation. Both saturated fat and sodium exceed the strict limits as per the FDA proposal.


When I run numbers for clients, I use the rules and guidelines as an instruction manual for compliance. When I cook in my kitchen, I use those same rules and guidelines as a framework.

For example, vegetable rich dishes put lots of potassium on the plate. Just check the sodium and potassium values on the Facts Label for my tagine chicken. Lots more potassium than sodium because it’s a vegetable rich dish. I salted to my taste but maintained a good potassium / sodium ratio.

 I kept the skin on the chicken thigh. Now check the total fat and saturated fat values and note the difference – 25 grams. Unsaturated fats aren’t required on the standard Facts Label but those 25 grams represent the approximate grams of unsaturated or “healthy” fats.

So what’s missing? The flexibility to make a discretionary culinary judgment call depending on what else is on the plate.

Yikes! My favorite cookies have no nutrition facts label!

photo credit | gourmetmetrics

photo credit | gourmetmetrics.

Pictured above are my favorite oatmeal raisin cookies. Let’s call them the next best thing to freshly baked. Each little package is processed for local distribution with a list of ingredients but, on closer examination, you’ll notice something is missing.

All manufacturers are required to label products. But only some manufacturers are required to add nutrition facts. When a package of cookies like this one is sold without a nutrition facts label, it means the production batch is small.

So I started thinking, do I really need to know the nutrition stats for these very tasty cookies?

We already know cookies are calorie dense. Most cookies are 400 to 500 calories per 100 grams / 110 to 140 calories per ounce. I weighed the cookies from the package pictured above. The results – a serving size of one cookie (about 45 grams / 1.5 ounces) clocks in at 200 calories plus / minus 50.

We already know cookies are indulgent. The basic formulation is always the same no matter if the cookies are freshly baked with your grandmother’s recipe or turned out in massive numbers using industrial processing and technology. That formulation is flour, sugar, and fat. Most folks don’t need a label to tell them cookies are high in fat and sugar and calorie dense.

We always have an ingredient list. The cookies pictured above are made from organic wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, raisins, oats, eggs, salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda. It’s a clean list of quality ingredients with oats being a good source of fibers. Butter instead of less expensive palm or canola oil. Brown sugar instead of dextrose or high fructose corn syrup. No gums or emulsifiers to improve the texture. No preservatives to keep the cookies shelf stable for years so eat quickly or store in the freezer. 

So you see there’s a lot we can do using common sense and an ingredient list. Our nutrition facts label serves manufacturers and analysts well, but it’s not consumer friendly. Most countries have experimented with various formats, symbols, graphics but, in my observation at least, no one has found an optimal approach. I like to think of nutritional labeling as a work in progress. In the meantime, a little common sense goes a long way.